Fuel Dumping – How to Buy Tickets Without a Fuel Surcharge (2023)

  • Fuel Dumping – How to Buy Tickets Without a Fuel Surcharge (1)

Lately, fuel dumping became a magic formula frequently appearing at air ticket forums. It is a way how to deduct a fuel surcharge (or at least a part of it) from the final flight ticket price. And now, we are going to show you how to do that.

Fuel Surcharges

To start with, let’s make it clear of how the final price is composed, and what we passengers pay it. You can figure it out with any ticket. The best way to do that is to use Matrix. Just pick any flight that you like.

The final price is always composed of a basic price (which is 2,041 CZK in our example), to which various fees are added. Usually, the biggest amount is made by a fuel surcharge, when it comes to long flights. Airline companies came up with this term in order to be able to response quickly to jet fuel price increases. However, they use it for dynamic, quick, and effective increasing and/or decreasing of final prices. This kind of fee is always labeled as YQ or YR. In our example, the ticket is composed of more than one fuel tax, as flights are operated by various airline companies. In total, they are 6,394 CZK, which is more than a half of the price.

The Right Candidate

As we already said, Fuel Dumping is a specific way of dumping/eliminating (at least) a part of fuel surcharges from total prices. In such case, we will focus on tickets whose prices are made of fuel taxes largely (for example a ticket from Prague to NYC). Prices have to be high enough in order to be, dumped it. It’s important to note here that it’s not possible to deduct fuel surcharge from all tickets, and also, it takes time before you find the right structure. Matrix can be very helpful in this case because thanks to it you can become familiar with complete “fare rules.” These define what is and what is not possible to do in this tariff. For example, how many stops are allowed, or how much time they can take, or required minimum duration of stay in your destination.

If you want to find a cheap flight, don’t forget a check our tips on how to book cheap hotel rooms.

Fuel Dumping – How to Buy Tickets Without a Fuel Surcharge (3)In the scope of these rules, the „Combinability“ section defines, whether it is possible to drop YQ with a given tariff. If you find out that “END-ON-END COMBINATIONS” and “SIDE TRIPS” are permitted, you can probably fuel dump. Nevertheless, even in such case, there can be restrictions, such as “END-ON-END COMBINATIONS PERMITTED WITH FARES WITHIN AREA 1″ which means that you can combine segments found in North America only (Area 1 is a code for the area of North America in aviation).

Fuel Dumping Types

Deducting fuel taxes can be done in a number of various ways. From, so-called, selfdump tickets (when the routing itself takes a part of YQ away erroneously), through routing adjustment, to adding an extra flight.

Open Jaw – we try to find such a combination in which one departure from one place and return to a different one. For instance, I find a ticket from Prague to New York and another one, from New York to Prague. The price could be acceptable, but if we returned from New York to Vienna instead, the resulting price could be much lower. Then, a bus ticket cost from Vienna to Prague is negligible.

Doble Open Jaw – as the name suggests, these are tickets with different departure and return cities for both directions. To give an example, from Prague to New York and from Philadelphia to Vienna.

Adding a flight (the strike) – it might seem strange and illogical, but adding another flight to your ticket can significantly reduce the resulting price. Airline companies have certain contracts with each other which ensure price advantages for flight connections provided by the different airline company. Thanks to that, errors occur, when adding a flight deletes the whole or a part of a fuel surcharge. Such a flight (sometimes called the strike) has to be short and cheap so that its price is not higher than a subsequent YQ deduction.

Such a flight can be the first start of our journey – 1X (the first strike), or among following planned flights – 2X (the second strike), or after your return 3X (the third strike).

3X – The third strike (the Holy Grail) – speaking of fuel dumping, many people automatically think of 3X. Why? Because when I purchase a ticket for a transfer flight and omit one of the segments, the rest of them will be forfeited. Because of that, it is very difficult to find 1X or 2X which would work for you, since you have to fly all added flights.


Get Free List of more than 1000 short flight – good candidates for 3x strikes.

(Video) Making Sense of Airline Fuel Surcharges

As 3X is scheduled at the end of your itinerary, there is no risk of sanction if you don’t fly the last flight. Below, you can see a return ticket from Delhi to Chicago. Thanks to adding the strike, it was possible to reduce its price by more than 1/3 of the total price. When we check out Matrixwe managed to take away the whole YQ of 600 USD.

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Always, when someone writes about 3X, nobody will ever tell you what the strike exactly is. Because this added flight often works the same way in combination with another flight provided by a given company. In our case, it is possible to apply this strike on all Air India flights with similar fare rules, and the whole fuel surcharge should be always deduced.

How to Find Your First Working 3X Strike

Assuming we have already picked the flight with a high fuel surcharge, and fare rules imply the possibility to find a working strike, where to start to look for it?, In order to reduce a surcharge, three rules need to be obeyed for the added flight:

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  • It has to be the same company

  • Or a partner airline company

  • Or a company belonging to the same airline alliance

Fuel Dumping – How to Buy Tickets Without a Fuel Surcharge (5)Well, now you need only a bit of luck and, most importantly, patience. You can find your first fuel dumping tariff in a few minutes or a few weeks, it all depends on your luck. You need to try out many various short flights provided by various companies from various places on the planet. You can use Skyscanner or your favourite search engine. You can also try the Skyscanner mobile app for Android or iOS. Of course, you need to look for, so-called Multicity tickets when you look for 3X.

Our another great tip how to save money – cheap tours anywhere in the world.

Fuel Dumping Apps and Webs

Formerly, there was no other possibility to find your 3X, than to do so by “brute force” – to sit in front of your computer and try out dozens or hundreds of short flights, until you find the right one by chance. Today, it is possible to find a few automated systems which will do it for you.

  • FuelDumpStrike

    You have to download the program from this website and install it on your computer. After running it, you only enter the ticket you are looking for and it will find strikes itself. A 100% scan of all possible combinations usually takes more than 24 hours, but during the scanning you don’t have to do anything. If you turn it off, it will start scanning at the same spot where it stopped after you turn it on again. When the scanning is completed, you will be sent an email with a list of all combinations scanned.

  • Secret Flying Fuel Dumping Tool

    It will search through various possible strikes for you. As usual, you will enter the flight you look for and add a list of airports (it can be, say, 20 airports) where you want to find your strike. Then, just click and many new windows to search for all possible combinations will pop up (you have to have pop-up windows enabled).

A Warning to Conclude With

Using Fuel Dump methods could, on rare occasions, cause a cancellation of such ticket, even in the middle of the itinerary, or an airline company might require you to pay the rest of a fuel surcharge. However, this happens very rarely, and the same is true for deletion of miles earned for a loyalty program.


Get Free List of more than 1000 short flight – good candidates for 3x strikes.

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Fuel Dumping – How to Buy Tickets Without a Fuel Surcharge (6)


About the Author: Tom

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Fuel Dumping – How to Buy Tickets Without a Fuel Surcharge (7)

Tomas Novak is the co-author of the blog ET Abroad. He ensures mostly technical side of the blog and takes care of the design. He is an expert in searching cheap airfares, accommodation and happy to organize our trips. On the road he likes to try new sports and adrenaline rushes.


Do all airlines charge a fuel surcharge? ›

If you're paying cash to book a flight, fuel surcharges are irrelevant. That's because airlines are required by law to show the total price for a flight—including taxes, government fees and any fuel surcharges. So, it really doesn't matter if you're paying $0 or $1,000 in fuel surcharges.

How does fuel dumping work? ›

When an aircraft decides to dump fuel at altitude, the pilots flick a switch in the cockpit, and pumps push the fuel out of nozzles in the wings. The fuel disperses over a wide enough area that the particles evaporate into a fine mist.

What is a fuel dumping website? ›

Basically, “fuel dumping” is a ticketing strategy to help you strip the fuel surcharges from certain international airfares by adding on an extra, unused segment to the end of the trip.

Where can I find 3X fuel dump? ›

Finding a 3X

First you find the base fare you want to dump. Second, you figure out the YQ and all-in price. Finally, you perform a multi-city search using the candidate fare for trips 1 and 2 and the potential 3X as trip 3. Then you search and see if anything happens.

What is fuel surcharge waiver? ›

Banks offer waiver of this fuel surcharge as one of the benefits on their credit cards. If your SBI credit card has a fuel surcharge waiver, then it means you don't have to pay the surcharge fees when you use the card to pay for petrol/diesel. The BPCL SBI card is one such credit card that offers fuel surcharge waiver.

Is fuel surcharge refundable? ›

The fee is non-refundable. If the flight is cancelled or rescheduled, the fuel surcharge will not be imposed twice in the booking.

How common is fuel dumping? ›

These two reports cite that the US Air Force at one time jettisoned fuel nearly 1000 times per year. The second report also mentions that commercial airlines reported 485 instances of fuel jettison over a 5 year period.

Do all planes dump fuel before landing? ›

While fuel dumps don't happen every day, they're also not uncommon. Nor do they usually represent a major emergency. In fact if an aircraft is taking the time to dump fuel before landing, that's likely an indication that the issue forcing the plane to land is serious but not critical.

How long does it take a plane to dump fuel? ›

Fuel jettisoning systems can dump thousands of pounds a second. Most can get a plane back down to its max landing weight in 15 minutes or less, and it's usually as easy as flipping a switch in the cockpit.

Where do planes dump fuel before landing? ›

Do All Airplanes Dump Their Fuel? For the most part, large planes can dump fuel with the flip of a switch that is located in the cockpit, but this isn't always the case. Some planes with narrow bodies, such as the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 757, do not have fuel-dumping capabilities.

Do airplanes dump fuel in the air? ›

Some airplanes – usually larger ones – have the capability to dump fuel to reduce the landing weight. Dumping fuel can reduce the weight quickly, dumping thousands of pounds in a few minutes. In the rare instances where dumping fuel becomes necessary, there are procedures that are supposed to be followed.

How long does it take to fuel a 747? ›

With one fuel truck, a Boeing 737 can be fuelled from empty in around 23 minutes. A Boeing 747 using two fuel trucks with dual nozzles in around 52 minutes.

How can I save fuel surcharge on my credit card? ›

4 ways a credit card can help you save on fuel costs
  1. Cashback. Through certain credit card payments, you get benefits through a cashback. ...
  2. Surcharge waiver. ...
  3. Extra reward points through credit card tie-ups. ...
  4. Reward points earned at certain stores.

What is the minimum transaction amount required for fuel surcharge waiver? ›

You can get a fuel surcharge waiver every time you purchase fuel for a minimum transaction of Rs 400 and maximum of Rs 4000.

Do debit card charges fuel surcharge? ›

As per this, the fuel surcharge on debit cards was set from 0.25% to 1% including service tax. This means that if the consumers use the petrol station which is a private station then they are likely to pay a surcharge on the fuel. But there are many banks that offer 0% surcharge.

Why is there a fuel surcharge? ›

The purpose of a fuel surcharge is to provide a flat rate that allows the cost of fuel to be incorporated into shipping rates. By averaging the cost of transporting goods, the result is a fair, fixed fuel cost shippers can use to account for fluctuating fuel prices.

What is a fuel surcharge fee? ›

A fuel surcharge (FSC) is a fee assessed by a carrier to account for regional / seasonal variations in fuel costs. A fuel surcharge is most often seen in trucking, but an ocean or air carrier may also assess a fuel surcharge. A fuel surcharge helps protect the carrier from the volatility of fuel prices.

Why do credit cards have fuel surcharges? ›

Fuel Transaction (Surcharge on credit card) Fuel Outlet work at the very low-profit margin. Due to the low margin, they cannot bear the transaction charges imposed by the card issuer company (VISA, Maestro) & transfer to the consumer. The transaction charge on fuel purchase is called fuel surcharge.

How often do pilots dump fuel? ›

As a rule of thumb for the Boeing 747, pilots either quote dump rates ranging within 1–2 tons per minute or reference a thumb formula of dump time = (dump weight / 2) + 5 in minutes. In 2009, an Airbus A340-300 returning to its airport of departure shortly after takeoff dumped 53 tons of fuel in 11 minutes.

How much is fuel for a plane? ›

On average, aircraft fill up with an estimated 3,500 gallons of jet fuel, costing an estimated $7,070. However, price can vary from $4,040 on the low end to $14,140 on the high end.

Why do planes circle before landing? ›

Airplanes may fly in circles at the discretion of the pilot or by request from air traffic control. Most circling is to provide separation between airplanes, to hold planes when runways are temporarily obstructed, or to ensure airplanes arrive at their planned arrival times for the destination airport.

Do planes dump toilet waste? ›

Usually, yes. The vacuum toilet used on planes, patented by James Kemper in 1975, sucks the waste into a holding tank where it is stored until the plane lands on the ground.

Do pilots smoke in the cockpit? ›

Pilots can legally smoke cigarettes in the cockpit during a flight. However, many commercial airlines have strict policies against smoking that applies to passengers, pilots, and crew. When countries and airlines first started banning cigarettes, they continued to allow pilots to smoke cigarettes in the cockpit.

Do military jets leave contrails? ›

The next time you fly in a commercial aircraft through a rain cloud, look for the vapor trails that form over and around the wing. Typical fighter wingtip contrails are shown below. Often, military aircraft can be seen taking off with a black smoke appearing from the engines.

Can a plane land with full tank? ›

You could be taking off with a full load of fuel but no cargo/passengers, in which case it is entirely possible that you may be below MLW. And in which case the answer would be yes, it's entirely possible to land with full fuel tanks.

How much fuel does a 747 hold? ›

Let's start with a look at the most famous of jets, the Boeing 747. The Boeing website states that this model, with a gas tank capacity of 63,500 gallons, may burn five gallons of jet fuel per mile of flight.

Can a 737 dump fuel? ›

Not all planes are capable of dumping fuel. Boeing's 747 and 777 both have the ability to jettison kerosine, as has the Airbus A380 and an A330. However, regional jets such as a Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 can not. “These smaller jets must circle or, if need be, land overweight,” says Smith.

Why does the F 111 dump and burn? ›

A dump-and-burn will just make the exhaust easier for the missile to track. "The F-111 was one of the earlier swing-wing planes, that meant that you can't put much on the wings." The F-111 had four pylon store mounts on the wings, each capable of holding up to 5000lb of ordnance.

Is jet fuel cheaper than petrol? ›

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The reason behind ATF price being lower than that of petrol and diesel is the way tax on these fuels are calculated. Just like the conventional vehicle fuels, ATF too attracts both central and state taxes, and it varies from state to state due to different VAT rates.

What is jet fuel made of? ›

Jet fuels are primarily derived from crude oil, the common name for liquid petroleum. These jet fuels can be referred to as petroleum-derived jet fuels. Jet fuels can also originate from an organic material found in shale, called kerogen or petroleum solids: that can be converted by heat to shale oil.

How is jet fuel different from gasoline? ›

Gasoline consists of hydrocarbons that contain anywhere from 7 to 11 carbon atoms with hydrogen molecules attached. Jet fuel, on the other hand, contains hydrocarbons more in the range of 12 to 15 carbon atoms. In more colloquial terminology, jet fuel is made up mostly of kerosene.

Can the 787 dump fuel? ›

The fuel jettison system on the 787 allows pilots to dump fuel from all three tanks on board the aircraft and the process outlined in the Fuel Jettison Electronic checklist. This directs the flight crew to arm the fuel jettison system.

Where does toilet waste go on an airplane? ›

From the lavatory, the waste travels through the plane's pipes to the rear of the plane and remains in a tank that can only be accessed from the exterior of the plane — pilots can't clear the tanks during the flight. The tank is emptied by special service trucks once the plane is safely on the ground.

What are airline surcharges? ›

A fuel surcharge is, in theory, an additional fee that airlines levy on customers to compensate for fluctuations in fuel prices.

What is a fuel surcharge fee? ›

A fuel surcharge (FSC) is a fee assessed by a carrier to account for regional / seasonal variations in fuel costs. A fuel surcharge is most often seen in trucking, but an ocean or air carrier may also assess a fuel surcharge. A fuel surcharge helps protect the carrier from the volatility of fuel prices.

How does a fuel surcharge work? ›

A national fuel surcharge is an extra fee that trucking companies (or third parties) charge to cover the fluctuating cost of fuel. It is calculated as a percentage of the base rate and is usually added to a shipper's freight bill to cover the cost of operations.

How does fuel surcharge work for owner operators? ›

If the actual cost of fuel per gallon is higher than that rate, the entity paying for fuel (the drivers if they are owner operator truckers) add a surcharge by subtracting the flat rate from the average fuel costs divided by the average miles per gallon of commercial vehicles.

How do you calculate the fuel surcharge? ›

The calculation looks like this: Original fuel price - Updated fuel price = Difference in fuel cost. Difference in fuel cost / Miles per gallon = Cost per mile. Cost per mile x Distance travelled = Surcharge.

Do debit card charges fuel surcharge? ›

As per this, the fuel surcharge on debit cards was set from 0.25% to 1% including service tax. This means that if the consumers use the petrol station which is a private station then they are likely to pay a surcharge on the fuel. But there are many banks that offer 0% surcharge.

Are fuel surcharges regulated? ›

Many shippers and truckers use that weekly retail price information in their fuel pricing formulas. However, EIA does not calculate, assess, or regulate diesel fuel surcharges. EIA cannot tell transportation companies and freight carriers how to calculate a fuel surcharge.


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